Jews, Gays and California


The history of the Bay Area Jewish community is the focus of a new exhibit, California Dreaming at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum from Nov. 17 through Oct. 16.

It promises to be a fascinating look at the story of the Bay Area’s Jewish Community, from the Gold Rush to the present, from Levi’s blue jeans to the Sutro Baths, from Gump’s to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl.

One of the highlighted local stories in California Dreaming is San Francisco’s LGBT reform synagogue Congregation Sha’ar Zahav (which means “golden gate”). Their inclusive siddur, or prayer book, will be on display along with a story about the congregation.

The exhibit looks at how the Jews that came out West became a distinctly pioneering community and developed a unique character all their own. Through the presentation of hundreds of photographs, documents, ephemera, audio and video, the exhibit illuminates important leaders, institutions and moments in Bay Area Jewish history.

For more information on California Dreaming go here.

About The Author

Adam Sandel is a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, journalist and film critic living in San Francisco, California. He's the film writer for dot429 Magazine and is the host of the internet radio show "Happy Hour" on

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